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acceleration. >> so your position is at this point you don't think there is a defect in the accelerator or the throttle and sensors that has caused a sudden acceleration? i just want to try to understand what you're saying to us that i want to ask this question finally. mr. wicker mentioned the study by professor dill birds of southern illinois university. i don't know the veracity of that, it's free technical i'm sure, but i want to show a charge. i believe this is a chart, photograph that is on your own web site. ..
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>> most automakers use the type of sensors on the second for both the accelerator pedal and engine throttle. toyota, alone, i believe uses the better sensor on the engine throttle control, but the less reliable sensor on the accelerator pedal. i guess my question is why does toyota use at least concluded by some, a less reliable than most other manufacturers use?
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is it a cost issue or what has pushed toyota into that judgment? who could answer that question? >> yup. [speaking japanese] >> we never use a sensor less reliable because of the cost. [speaking japanese] >> we put together a system under which the two sensors do not really give out the same values at the same time. but so doing we could examine the validity of the signal of systems. >> all right. i'd like to inquire with a written question a little bit
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more about that subject. let me again make this point if i can, i think what you are saying to the committee is you're doing a lot to try to establish reliability, once again, i don't think think any question that everybody in the room has read the ratings over many, many years. toyota has been a brand of reliability and dependability and quality and so on. but i do think even those of us who have purchased that vehicle have some great concerns about what we have learned in the recent months about the company's response to the question of sudden acceleration. and i'm especially interested and also concerned that you're saying to us that the sudden acceleration issue is not result -- is not in your judgment resulting from a defect in the electronic system of throttle or
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accelerator pedal. it seems to be at odds what many other believe to be the case. you're doing a lot of things with respect to recall. i know you have good men and women working 24 hours a day, trying to call vehicles into dealerships and so on. but is it because you think there is no defect just because you're trying to instill some greater notion of reliability? [speaking japanese] >> as i said, there is not a single case that etc's failure led to unwanted, unintended acceleration at this point. however, we would like to do the following to ensure the safety of our product.
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[speaking japanese] >> our first point is it could be potentially national sciences, utilizing a third party organization to do another evaluation. [speaking japanese] >> for example right now when you look at the notations in the vehicle's speed control of a database, of course, this is something that we should probably work with a third party, but as far as we could see it, more than half of those
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complaints related to nonacceleration. [speaking japanese] >> after your translation we have to go on to the next question. >> so we would like to continues our effort to eliminate one we one. another thing is asking n.h.t.s.a. to give us the vin number of a certain event. we are deploying our s.w.a.t. team when is recorded. we want to do various things. we want to work on this. >> we are very eager to find
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out. that's all. >> thank you very much, senator dorgan. senator klobuchar. >> thank you very much. you have a lot of loyal minnesotaians and a lot of loyal autodealerrers who have been of course hurt by this dealer and are doing everything to meet the requirements of the recalls and want to do that. do you know mr. inaba how many vehicles have been recalled and how many remain to be fixed? >> well, talking about two recalls related to this un -- in general acceleration we have total of 5.3 million customers. and we done more than 1 million. we are rigorously doing it as quickly and as conveniently as possible with the dealers really fully backing us up. i really respect that effort they are doing.
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>> do you know how many remain? >> obviously about 4 million. we'd like to do it as quickly as possible. >> thank you. my major focus this morning was as worthy as the discussion of what you are going to do to fix the cars, how are you going to deal legal rewith some of the victims and their families and things like that, my focus is on their own government and relationship with toyota and other industry players. and how we do a better job of regulating. so that when we go forward we're going to be able to do a better job. so i was obviously concerned by this power point presentation. it came out in the last week. and i just -- where it talks about wins for toyota. and i understand wisconsins have to do well and get wins and move ahead. to me it seems like these were wins for toyota but arguably tosses for american customers. there was the document that was
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presented to you by toyota's washington, d.c. office, is that correct? >> that is correct. >> what does it mean when they talk about wins for toyota here? >> well, first of all, this is only after a few days after my arrival to the united states. this is the very first presentation by our washington office. to be honest, i do not recall the meeting or the data any differently. i reread it again. and i'm very embarrassed. first of all, this wrong turn of the information is so inconsistent with our company guiding principals and also my beliefs. and of course you can, you know, expect that, you know, the first time president coming to the office and they try to impress me. >> uh-huh. >> let me -- i think this is
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somewhere on the small sample. i want to believe that. but at the same time, this is my job. if there's any element of that thinking around any organization somewhere, my job is to recollect -- rectify it and make sure it doesn't happen anymore. >> the toyota regarding the sudden acceleration with no defect found. what do you think they meant when they said no defect found, n.h.t.s.a. didn't find a defect? >> i don't know. i mean i don't know the basis of sacklation of $100 million or so or using the word negotiation is the wrong one in my opinion. it should be a discussion. and therefore, i think there is
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an element that i have to really go into and then rectify it. >> and do you know if the people involved with whom toyota was negotiating, one of my concerned is right now there are some n.h.t.s.a.'s employees in toyota's washington office. were any of the former employees involved in the negotiation? >> well, they are a window person to the basis and discuss issues. so that's correct. and two of them came from n.h.t.s.a., one 15 years ago and second one is 6 years ago. i know them personally by now. and they are of very high integrity. i really respect their expertise. we value them, not their influence, but their expertise. it's hard to sort of imagine that they can exercise any strong influence rather than
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expert. and i really value their work that they are doing. >> i understand under the current rules there wasn't a violation but they were involved in the negotiations then? >> discussions. somewhere -- >> discussions. okay. mr. ditlow i went earlier with secretary lahood for how we can fix this going forward. i want to throw them out there again. what i'm talking about is fixing the relationship between the government regulators where our public and my two customers and many more in minnesota that had the acceleration event. one was so bad for six miles that burned her hub caps. the victims survived. the procedure tools for the n.h.t.s.a. so that they maybe can move things quicker, the fines in this case that maybe as much as -- it maybe something like $16 million compared to the
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$100 million saved that's right up here on the charts seems to be not a good balance. the fourth thing i raise was doing something differently with the rules so that people won't be negotiating that used to work at n.h.t.s.a.? could you talk about what's your favorite of those choices and if you think they all would be helpful? >> we have -- in terms of my favorite, could you -- >> i'm just asking what should be our highest priority as we go bard to try to change the situation in >> well, in the near term, the highest priority has to be electric brake overrides in not only the recall toyota vehicles. >> i totally understand our first priority. i'm talking about the government agencies who -- it seems to me need to do their job differently so that people who file complaints feel like they are going to get an answer and feel like they are going to get an answer that's a rash of complaints that's consistent with what's going on here. >> the government has to totally
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revamp it's investigatory system. it has to recognize that it is in fact the cop on the beat. not mr. nice guy. they need to go back and look at what the agency was doing in the 1970s where the only thing was safety recalls. we didn't have safety improvement campaigns, we didn't have regional recalls which excluded some parts of the country. the agency needs to when it does an investigation, look to obtaining full recall of the vehicles, not something that will save the manufacturer some money and get a quick out. but the other thing is you got -- the agency doesn't have the resources to do it. they simply move on one from investigation to another. there's always another one that's in the back of their mind. but they need to do a good job on the one that's before them before they move on to the next one. >> okay. thank you very much. >> thank you, senator.
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and senator lemieux. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for holding this hearing. i want to thank everyone for being here today. it occurs to me in so listening to the testimony that when we're talking as my colleague did about pedal sensors and engine computers and microprocessors that these cars are very complicated. and gone are the days when we could as consumers, at least nearly all consumers understand how these vehicles operate. and as these cars become more complicated, i believe the burden is more on the manufacturer to make sure that things operate properly. this is not my old '66 mustang that i could get under the hood and figure something out. my wife and i have one of your cars. she drives an suv and puts our
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three small kids in the back. when i learned of this, i did what most families do. i went home and had a conversation with what my wife should do if her car accelerated whether it was a floor mat or some other problem. that's not a good conversation for us to be having in terms of your company and what my colleague senator carte well -- cantwell said is the reputation that you have for being such an excellent purveyor of quality cars. many of these issues have been discussed. the thing that i want to focus on today is sort of, i understand what you are doing now. i applaud you for doing the independent evaluation and the efforts that are you are taking. my concern is how long have you known about this problem and the efforts that you took in the past. we have been given, and i believe that the chairman has entered this into the record, a power point presentation that was given on september 20, 2006
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by mr. jim press who was the president, i guess that was your predecessor, mr. inaba, is that correct? >> yes. correct. >> and this document has a group of it looks like it was a slide show presentation. could someone from toyota provide information to us as to where this presentation was given and to whom it was given? >> i do not personally know that document. but we will certainly get back to you with more information about that. >> is there anybody from toyota who's familiar with this document who's here today? >> not from the three of us. >> okay. well, let me read to you, because i'm reviewing these documents, mr. chairman, as they've been presented to us. this is a slide show presentation about a new era for toyota and tma in north
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america. and it goes through several issues, including safety issues. there are notations in the back here which are notes to this slide presentation. and on the document that is -- that has its ending bate number 25, there is reference to slide number 25. it says the following. our ability to manage the tide of safety investigations rest largely on our ability to work well with n.h.t.s.a.. over the last few years we have seen our relationship begin to slip slightly with n.h.t.s.a.. the reasons are complex. they include a combination of increased recalls, more investigation, and tougher negotiations between toyota and the agency. not all of the recall increase can be blamed on flipping toyota quality. and it goes on from there. none of you have, i guess, seen
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this document. but this is from the president of toyota motors north america or at least it contains information that he, i guess, presented. and i'm worried about some of these phrases. about managing the tide of safety investigations, i'm concerned about not all of the recall increase can be blamed on flipping toyota quality. to the point that was made before, this looks like more of an effort to get in front of in a public relations way a problem in order to instill confidence in the consumer and to deal with the government regulatory agency than it does trying to solve a problem. and from the document that is i reviewed, you've known about the acceleration problem whether it's been caused by electronic,
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which you don't believe, or floor mats, you've known about this problem for some time. i have a concern that the effort that is you took in the past were not appropriate. and you did not go far enough in the years prior to what you are doing today. do you care to comment on that statement? [speaking japanese]
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[speaking japanese] [speaking japanese] >> around 2006 the number of recalls in north america increased. and with regard to this, i do not have a -- any data on me personally right now. so i would like to submit to the committee later more accurate numbers. it is certainly an embarrassing thing for an automobile manufacturer to create or produce a vehicle that has to be
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recalled later. however, when we realize that recall is needed, then that -- the work of recall should be done properly. so this may sound a little bit contradict trior complex or a bit strange, but the number of recall was increasing. and that meant on the one hand we were doing our job properly. [speaking japanese] [speaking japanese]
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[speaking japanese] [speaking japanese] [speaking japanese] >> with regards to our relationship with n.h.t.s.a., it is really unfortunate that some of you may have a concern or some people might suspect it was unhealthy. i want like to clarify -- clear that going forward and build a healthy relationship with n.h.t.s.a.. in the past 10 years, toyota has conducted in total 66 vehicle
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recalls in north america, of which 57 were on voluntary basis. in other words, we were not given any instruction from n.h.t.s.a. to do these recalls. however, we did do that. unfortunately, the remaining 9 cases our response was not good enough and it ended up in the instructed recall by n.h.t.s.a.. but we are not trying to work on the relationship with n.h.t.s.a. so that if we can persuade them to avoid recalls or anything like that. and our past record testified for that. this is a piece of information i would like you to understand. >> thank you. >> thank you. senator lautenberg. >> i want to ask mr. inaba a question. there was a document dated july
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2009 and it described what the author considered to be a win for toyota. one of these wins were toyota's self-described safety group was $100 million saving from avoiding a safety recall in 2007. mr. inaba, your name is on the cover page of the document. >> where? >> and you have stated that it is a presentation that was made to you. thus the -- your endorsing. >> yes, sir. >> did this presentation raise a red flag to your company that was prioritizing profit over safety? >> it has never been in the case and it will never be the case. >> it was described as a win. the win is a victory, obviously. >> well, let me address it.
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safety is utmost importance for our company. and that is why i've found, i reread that only recently and then found that it was a little embarrassing. and it is so inconsistent with the guiding principal and personal belief. therefore, although they try to impress me with the bigger numbers of money that they said they saved. but i would like to really in my position to rectify if there's any element of that thought in our organization. >> does anyone at toyota responsibility -- been made responsible for this presentation or related safety lapses? has toyota been reprimanded for their lapse? >> may i?
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[speaking japanese] [inaudible conversations] >> okay. sorry. i just wanted to understand your english for a bit. i have told the washington office since i have found it later on that this is not our, you know, company sort of policy. the cost comes first, you know, then the safety. and i reaffirm them that safety comes first. and this is, you know, a top priority of a company. that's all of and there's no -- >> but it was not suggested that anybody was in the company was responsible for -- your an engineer as i remember or one of you is an engineer. is it possible that there is no
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assignment of responsibility for this lapse? does it -- didn't it fall in some department, some units in the company that permitted this to happen? >> may i ask, permitted this kind of presentation happen? is that what you are? >> no, that the acceleration happened. the sudden acceleration happened. that the accidents happened. that the injuries happened. does it say, look, you so and so your department, your responsibility and that we're -- that'd be serious about this at toyota. if you make that kind of mistake, your career is essentially over or whatever -- however you manage. >> let me just address this first. of course, no, we take any accident or especially fatal accident very seriously.
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but the same time, i don't believe that there is a -- any sort of rule or system that we would punish any individuals when it happens and we know even if we know the cause of it. >> you've been watching a portion of one of the recent congressional hearings on the toyota recalls where lawmakers question the government enforcement of auto safety standards. tonight two former administrators along with david, the president and ceo of the alliance of automobile manufacturers which represents toyota and detroit news reporter dave shepherdson who covered the congressional hearings discuss the car safety standards. we also welcome your calls and actuals on the topics. it also gets underway on 8 p.m. this

CSPAN April 6, 2010 5:30pm-6:00pm EDT

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TOPIC FREQUENCY Toyota 26, Us 9, Washington 4, North America 3, Mr. Inaba 2, Lemieux 1, Mr. Ditlow 1, Dave Shepherdson 1, Cantwell 1, Mr. Chairman 1, Lautenberg 1, Dorgan 1, Lahood 1, Mr. Jim 1, Klobuchar 1, Minnesota 1, United States 1, Un 1, Unintended Acceleration 1, The N.h.t.s.a. 1
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